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Are Parakeets Messy? Vet-Approved Bird Habits & Behavior Explanation

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

Blue rose-ringed parakeet

Vet approved

Dr. Luqman Javed Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Luqman Javed

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Parakeets are adorable parrots that make marvelous pets for a variety of reasons. Folks really love their ability to bond, their funny personalities, and their ability to mimic human speech and sounds. They tend to have favorable lifespans and can be very enriching birds to keep.

However, what is the cleanup like? Birds are notoriously messy critters, so is the parakeet any cleaner? In this article, we explore what you can expect when caring for these feathery cuties. We focus specifically on the rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri), though this information can translate to just about all parrots kept as pets.

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Parakeets Are Messy, Messy, Messy!

Parakeets are certainly not known for being clean pets. Despite their small size, they can flick all sorts of debris across the room. If you want the space to be clean, it will certainly take daily upkeep, so be prepared for it in advance. In fairness, though, all parrots are considered messy!

Yellow Lutino Indian Ringneck Parakeet sitting on a rope
Image Credit: Dawid K Photography, Shutterstock

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What Kinds of Messes Do Parakeets Make?

You might just imagine food slung about a room, but that’s not all! There are tons of ways a parakeet makes messes in the home.

1. Food Pieces

Parakeet food, like their tiny little mouths, is small no matter what type you get. As these birds pluck away at the goodies, they sling their seeds everywhere! Watching them eat is cute, of course, but the cleanup is something fierce!

rose-ringed parakeet
Image Credit: Michal Pesata, Shutterstock

2. Feathers

Parakeets are always grooming themselves. Even though it makes them as dapper as the day is long, it can leave quite a mess behind for the owner to clean up. Feathers are light and airy, so with any breeze in the home, these small fluffs flitter about.


3. Puddles

Parakeets love to play in water. They might flick their water all over the room. Depending on the water source, they might also spill their water bowl or let their water bottle drip. Constant liquid on carpet can cause mold, and it can warp other types of flooring.

Portrait of a Pair of Indian Rose-Ringed Parakeets
Image Credit: Ami Parikh, Shutterstock

4. Droppings

Our parakeets’ poop is watery every time, so there’s always a risk of mess. You might find droppings on your walls, floors, or even nearby furniture. Not only is this a risk in the cage, but it is also a risk outside too.

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How Often Should You Expect to Clean?

Daily spot cleanings and newspaper changes are recommended for the general maintenance of your pet’s enclosure and to ensure their health.

To keep smells and messes at a minimum, you should also fully clean your parakeet’s cage once a week. This doesn’t just mean changing out the newspapers lining the bottom. We are talking about a full scrub with disinfectant and hot water. Parakeets can be very sensitive to the chemicals you use, so always use natural products when you can.

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Tips for a Tidy Parakeet Space

If you want to keep the enclosure and all surrounding areas in outstanding condition, there are certain practices you can implement.

1. Have a Newspaper Under the Cage

It would help if you had a newspaper under the cage, especially if your bird cage sits above carpet! Your bird is going to flick a heck of a mess all over the room, which will involve constant cleanup. If bird poop gets on your belongings, it might never come off.

Newspapers can help make the cleanup process so much easier. They can quickly be disposed of and replaced to keep your other furniture safe.


2. Make Daily Cleaning a Practice

You should make cleaning up around your parakeet’s cage a daily practice. Your floors are really going to need it!

Every day, make sure you sleep or scour the area for tiny little seeds and other debris from the cage. You will reduce smells and keep everything in its place.

Male yellow and grey ring-necked parrot feeding on his perch
Image Credit: Jackson Stock Photography, Shutterstock

3. Protect Your Walls

Your walls might be the most impacted victim of having a parakeet in the home. Parakeets may have direct access to the walls through the bars of their cage. Therefore, they can litter debris all over.

Certain food pieces can get stuck on the walls, but for the most part, the offensive culprit is poop. So, make sure you have a barrier between your walls and the bird’s cage. You can buy plastic stick-on shields or come up with another easy-to-clean option.

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Conclusion

Parakeets can be pretty unsanitary, but it’s manageable for a bird lover. It just takes some preventative maintenance to make sure all is tidy around the place. Parakeets sling poop, seeds, water—you name it. Just remember to invest in plenty of newspapers and wall protectors. You’ll need them if you’re thinking of getting a pet parrot!


Featured Image Credit: Wirestock Creators, Shutterstock

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